Monday, December 14, 2009

for Catherine

She worked the syringe carefully through the tube buried in his arm, pumping his vein with antibiotic. It doesn't make her wince anymore. She has grown accustomed to the daily exercise and, after a month, it has become as routine as brushing her teeth. There is another tube sticking out of his side, where a sickening fluid oozed out into a small bag attached to the other end of it. He had shed a few pounds, a marked change on his already gaunt frame. He looks smaller and even more fragile, but there was at least some color back on his cheeks. He wasn't begging for painkillers anymore, though she wasn't certain if it was because the pain had ebbed or he had just gotten used to it.

She had spoken to several doctors, none of whom can tell her with incontrovertible finality from what disease he suffers. Sometimes, alone in her thoughts, she wonders what it matters whether they know or not. Would knowing what sickness afflicted him make it more bearable? If she knew at 16 that she would be facing this challenge at 36, could she have prepared herself for grief?

Where her faith wavered, her love sustained her. She spoke but wonders if anyone heard; her words diffusing into the big empty sky.

I hear, and i hug myself.

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